ARLINGTON, Texas - Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Francisco Liriano was taken to a nearby hospital Friday after he was struck in the head by a line drive hit by one of his best friends in baseball.
Liriano was struck on the back of the head by a line drive off the bat of Carlos Gomez, and exited the field on his own power in the eighth inning of the Blue Jays' Game 2 victory in the American League Division Series on Friday.
But after the game, he was seen wheeled into an ambulance on a stretcher with a brace around his neck.
"He's just going for further tests," said Blue Jays manager Gibbons. "Anytime you get a head injury, you got to get it looked at. So that's about the extent of it right now."
Gomez was teammates with Liriano in Minnesota, and was concerned about the condition of his friend.
"He’s one of my best friends," Gomez said. "Even if he weren’t, I would feel the same way, because you never want to hurt another player, especially with a blow to the head. I wasn’t as scared for what might happen because I noticed the ball didn’t hit him solid, but I’ll pray that everything’s OK and just wait for the diagnosis.
“We were teammates for two years and have always maintained a brotherly relationship. When I played against the Pirates or at Minnesota, I wouldn’t go out to dinner. I would go to his house, and he would go to mine. I’m worried for him now that I know he’s headed to the hospital.’’
The Blue Jays won the game, 5-3, after Roberto Osuna replaced Liriano and got the final four outs. They were expected to travel back to Toronto on Friday night.